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Protecting Yourself After a Prostitution Solicitation Sting in Pennsylvania

Prostitution solicitation stings are a common type of law enforcement operation. When an undercover officer arrests and charges someone during one of these operations, a conviction can have a lifelong impact. If you’ve been charged with prostitution solicitation in Pennsylvania, it’s important that you understand the potential consequences of a conviction and what to do next.

An experienced prostitution solicitation criminal defense attorney can explore defense arguments for your case, possibly resulting in your charges being dropped or reduced.

What Is a Prostitution Solicitation Sting?

Prostitution solicitation is the legal term for attempting to pay for sexual activity with another person. A sting can be any kind of undercover police operation.

Prostitution solicitation strings have been seen increasingly in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas as part of the Lancaster County DA’s Human Trafficking Task Force, which began in 2022. In these operations, police officers typically pose as prostitutes, either online or in person.

You don’t have to actually engage in sexual activity to be arrested for prostitution solicitation. The term “solicitation” simply means asking for or trying to obtain something. Once an undercover office determines that you’re prepared to pay for sexual activity, they can arrest you and charge you for patronizing prostitutes.

Building a Defense in a Pennsylvania Prostitution Sting Case

If you’re facing charges of prostitution solicitation in Pennsylvania, you need an experienced defense attorney on your case as soon as possible. The type of defense argument a lawyer chooses often depends on the circumstances that led up to your arrest.

Some possible legal arguments in this type of case include:

  • Entrapment
  • Lack of knowledge or intent
  • Mistaken identity
  • Duress or coercion
  • Renunciation
  • Lack of evidence

Which defense argument best fits your case depends on the situation. In one case, the police may have failed to adequately collect evidence that conclusively proves prostitution solicitation was your intention. In another, an argument for lack of knowledge or intent can be used to argue that you were unaware that terms like “escort service” indicated participation in prostitution.

Prostitution Stings and Entrapment

When a prostitution solicitation arrest happens because of a prostitution solicitation sting, entrapment is often a strong argument. With this defense, your lawyer can claim that the undercover law enforcement officers persuaded you to engage in an illegal activity.

To be successful, an entrapment argument needs to show that it was the police officer who suggested that you pay for sexual activity — before arresting you for agreeing. Law enforcement officers engaged in a sting operation can easily cross the line, especially if they’re eager for the operation to be successful.

If your defense lawyer can show that your arrest was the result of law enforcement entrapment, there’s a good chance of the charges being dropped entirely.

Getting Prostitute Solicitation Charges Dropped With an ARD

If you’re hoping to get prostitution solicitation charges dropped, a skilled criminal defense attorney can help build a strong case on your behalf. An alternative to trial is Pennsylvania’s Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program.

ARD is a rehabilitation program that’s typically only available to first-time offenders. Upon completion of the program, charges can be dismissed and arrest records expunged. A prostitution solicitation defense lawyer can help you understand more about this program and whether it’s a possible option in your case.

Don’t Wait to Call a Prostitution Sting Defense Attorney

A conviction for prostitution solicitation in Lancaster County, PA, is a third-degree misdemeanor. Penalties include up to a year in jail and fines of up to $2,500. Being convicted of prostitution-related charges can also do serious harm to your relationships, reputation, and job prospects. It’s important to call an experienced Lancaster prostitution defense attorney right away to get help with your defense.

 

 Protecting Yourself After a Prostitution Solicitation Sting in Pennsylvania - Chieppor & Egner

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